Sea Of Cameras





I know a few artists have talked about this and others who I have played with either hate it or love it.

Cell phones recording live shows.

I have been the one in front of the camera and the one behind it. It can be a little unnerving when you see a bunch of cameras pop up and shoved in your face. But then again, your performance is going to be all over social media. The same applies when I am at a show and I upload snippets to Instagram or a full video to Facebook or Youtube.

I saw clips of Grace Jones a few weeks ago with a Hula Hoop on Youtube and thought it was the coolest thing – this older lady, looking cool as hell singing one of the most interesting songs of the 80’s Slave To The Rhythm.

I see that she performed live at AfroPunk, and now, the hula hoop is all over my Facebook feed.

The good thing about this is that you scan spread the word about how great a performance is by being part of a sea of camera phones recording a part of the show to share with your friends and followers. The bad thing is that you are kinda missing the performance that is happening right in front of you.

I’m not the kind of person to go to Bonnaroo, Coachella, the Warped Tour or AfroPunk. I’m not the right demographic or the kind of person to sit in a hot field for hours and hours to see “oldies” groups that I want to see like Cameo or The Time. Madison Square Garden is as big as I get, and it better be Stevie Wonder or better! I prefer smaller venues where I can get closer to the artists and not need binoculars to see who it is on stage. But hey, that is just me.

I’m torn as to how I feel about the ocean of cameras I see nowadays. I like it because I can see things that I couldn’t see normally, and can get a glimpse into what is going on all around the music world. But…then again, aren’t we all missing out on what is right in front of us in the moment if we have our cameras out at the same time?

Sometimes, when I’m performing and see a bunch of cameras come out to record whoever I am performing with, I want to tell people to put down the cameras and dance! It’s hard to get good footage of a show when your hands are moving.


One Reply to “Sea Of Cameras”

  1. Clayton- Thanks for this fun piece! My thought is that whatever brings people joy and doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of others is wonderful. As ever, there are different strokes for different folks: some people want to see very second, some folks enjoy dancing, some enjoy sitting and listening meditatively, some enjoy a mixture of any or all of those plus taking photos or video. There’s no one best way for everyone to enjoying music, live performance, or anything else for that matter. If folks are having a good time in their own way and allowing others to do the same it’s all excellent.

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